Its not vinyl

I have read 100’s of discussions on the subject of building a streaming digital option for audiophile systems. Everything from the internet connection to the streaming source and then the dac. In my reading through the posts the argument will quickly turn to its not analog, vinyl is better, on the anti streaming side and then on the pro streaming side posters will fed the argument with its almost as good as my phono stage, sounds better than analog. This will even hold true within the dac manufactures and dac owners who will refer to their dac sound as analog sounding or just like phono. I think this is most referenced in the R2R dac category. I started a discussion on the new Gustard R26 which is a discrete R2R ladder dac. Right away I was confronted with “why do you want to spend the money to replace your phono analog end that you already have and sounds great”?  I  Replied with the usual “phono does sound better, even a $30,000 dac will never beat analog and all the other analog vs digital talking points”. Then it hit me that we have been arguing this wrong all this time. The argument should be that the quest in putting together a top notch streaming digital setup is not a quest to beat analog or beat phono. The quest and objective is to achieve a “ less digital sound”. We all know that sharp, bright  razor blades in my bleeding ears sterile digital sound, that will bring in-listener fatigue and quickly want you turning off the music. What I am reiterating here is that the quest the cost and the journey in digital is not to beat analog it is to beat “digital”.


Yes, you’re absolutely correct. Make your digital as good as it can be, and be happy with that. Digital will never possess that something special that vinyl has. And that’s okay. 

To add to my (surprising for me) non-verbose comment, I'm a product designer by trade, with decades in hi-tec R&D. 

I love the mechanistic nature of analog, the look and feel of the stuff. Don't get much of that from my digital toys.

I remember one comment made by another poster somewhere on the Vinyl vs Digital topic. Stated that it really comes down to preference. With the equipment available for both, they are both capable of incredible sound. I have owned both and have to agree. Its all about which characteristic sounds best to you. I'm not sure there really is a 'better' anymore given the equipment available.

Here's a thought, don't listen to them.  You seem to have a pretty good handle on what YOU want.